first fig

my candle burns at both ends…

Tag: feminism

on rape and being a woman

(trigger warning: rape/sexual assault)

around the time i got my learner’s permit to drive my mother came home from a PTA meeting where a deputy from the local police department had spoken with them about teaching their daughters self-defense. they were given a few techniques and then sent home with a self-defense tool. that evening my mother presented me with a white, plastic kubaton and demonstrated how to use it.

“if a man comes to sexually assault you hold the kubaton like a javelin. make yourself as big as you can and then scream and growl in a deep and threatening manner. like this: haaarrrrrroooooggggwwwwrrrrrrr!!!! then rush at him and jab him in the throat. this will collapse his trachea and then he’ll die!” Read the rest of this entry »

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the bridegroom

last week i excerpted some of the Fresh Air interview with Sister Pat Farrell, president of the LCWR. because i try to be fair to all sides i thought it would be a good idea to also excerpt some of the interview Terry Gross did with Bishop Leonard Blair who conducted the doctrinal assessment and then censured LCWR.

i have to be honest about my bias, i love nuns and i always chafe at men claiming the privilege to tell women what to do just because they’re men.  i strongly disagree with Bishop Blair but i thought it would still be interesting to show what he thinks in juxtaposition to the words of Sister Farrell. Read the rest of this entry »

“for the sake of the whole”

i love nuns. i know they get kind of a bad rap but i think they are fantastic. these are women who choose God above all else, who minister to the outcasts of society bringing comfort and hope to those they serve. they also have quite the reputation for subversive actions and belief. they are intimately connected to one of the most patriarchal institutions in the world and yet manage to hold their own and trust in their own authority. that takes a kind of bravery i can only begin to imagine.

recently the leadership conference of women religious (LCWR) have been censured for having “radical feminist beliefs” and not speaking out against things like homosexuality, contraception and abortion. taking stands on controversial issues is not part of their calling or mission and yet they are being censured for exactly this. to rectify this, american bishops have been called to oversee the group, to rewrite the mission and platforms of women religious in this country. this is an extraordinary step and it bears mentioning that even the catholic bishops who failed to act and often times subverted justice in child sex abuse cases have not been treated this harshly.

i personally feel a lot of solidarity with nuns because i understand the complexity of being a feminist woman and working within a patriarchal religious institution. much of the pain i have heard nuns express over their religion is the same pain i feel in mine. i was listening to Fresh Air yesterday and Terry Gross was interviewing Sister Pat Farrell, president of the LCWR and i was struck again with how easily i relate to her struggle but also the wisdom and grace she carries with her.

i’ve excerpted some of the interview below but you should really just go listen to the entire thing.

Read the rest of this entry »

it matters

mormon children often give little talks in their children’s meeting and it was valkyrie’s turn on sunday. she was assigned to speak on how she can choose the right by living gospel principles. valkyrie wanted to talk about listening to Jesus so i decided we would base her talk around the Mary and Martha story.

here is the text of her talk: Read the rest of this entry »

on having it all

when mr. mraynes and i were engaged to be married the plan was that both of us would be in graduate school together and would eventually become university professors. i was a good student, i had excellent recommendations but in trying to find schools that both of us could go to together, none were a perfect match and i was rejected from every program i applied to.

i was crushed. unable to believe that sometimes these things just happen i desperately grasped to the thought that maybe God was directing my life in ways i couldn’t understand. and since i am so very mormon the thing i thought God wanted from me was to have a child. Read the rest of this entry »